Earth and Environmental Sciences Faculty

John E. Ebel


Senior Research Scientist, Weston Observatory


My research interests are in the areas of earthquake hazard, earthquake source mechanisms, earthquake forecasting, wave propagation studies and determination of lithospheric structure.  Since 1981 I have supervised the operations of the New England Seismic Network of Weston Observatory of Boston College, which spans the six New England states and is used to detect, locate, catalog and study all earthquakes that occur in New England and vicinity. My research has focused on studying the causes and effects of earthquakes in New England and vicinity, although I have also published papers on earthquake activity in other parts of the eastern United States and Canada, California, Europe, Mexico and the southwest Pacific. I also conduct extensive research on methods for earthquake hazard computation and earthquake forecasting. These research efforts have resulted in the publication of one book and over 80 scientific papers, over 150 professional talks, and with numerous technical reports submitted to government agencies or private firms. My current and recent students have conducted research on earthquake source mechanisms, new methods for earthquake depth computations, earthquake statistics and earthquakes induced by oil and gas production..

  • Nawa Dahal: Field and microstructural constraints on deformation conditions and shear zone kinematics in the Burlington Mylonite Zone, Massachusetts (Ph.D. candidate in Physics)
  • Ian Cooper: Analyzing Seismic Waveforms at Regional Seismic Stations to Find the Focal Depths of Earthquakes in New England and Vicinity
  • Yahya Abushaheen: Quantitative Analysis of High Resolution Chirp Sub-Bottom Profiler Data in Shallow Marine Sediments (2016)
  • Stephen Hilfiker: High-Resolution Spatial and Temporal Analysis of the Aftershock Sequence of the 23 August 2011 Mw 5.8 Mineral, Virginia, Earthquake (2016)
  • Vanessa Napoli: Relative Location Analysis and Moment Tensor Inversion for the 2012 Gulf of Maine Earthquake Swarm (2016)
  • Oluwaseyi Bolarinwa: Spatiotemporal Relationships between Earthquakes of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Atlantic Continental Margins: (2015)
  • Oluwaseun Fadugba: Detection of Induced Seismicity due to Oil and Gas Extraction in the Northern Gulf of Mexico, USA (2015)
  • Ebel, J.E., and J.C. Starr, A geophysical and field survey in central New Hampshire to search for the source region of the 1638 earthquake, Seism. Res. Lett., in press 2018.
  • Monecke, K., F.G. McCarthy, B. Hubeny, J.E. Ebel, D.J. Brabander, S. Kielb, E. Howey, G. Janigian, and J. Pentesco, The 1755 Cape Ann earthquake recorded in lake sediments of eastern New England – an interdisciplinary paleoseismic approach, Seism. Res. Lett., in press, 2018.
  • Napoli, V.J., and J.E. Ebel, Relative location analysis and moment tensor inversion of the 2012 Gulf of Maine Earthquake Swarm, Seism. Res. Lett., 89 in press,, 2017.
  • Yilar, E., L.G. Baise and J.E. Ebel, Using H/V Measurements to determine depth to bedrock and Vs30 in Boston, Massachusetts, Engineering Geology, 217, 12-22,, 2017.
  • Ebel, J.E., and D.W. Chambers, Using the locations of ≥ 4 earthquakes to delineate the extents of the ruptures of past major earthquakesGeophys. J. Int., 207 (2): 862-875, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggw312, 2016.